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Guidelines for Bathing Water-Phobic Dog

Posted by Awesome Doggies

Part of owning a dog is making sure it’s regularly bathed. Unfortunately, most dogs are not fans of baths, so it can be challenging to get them to cooperate. In fact, it’s common for many dogs to be so terrified that they scoot underneath beds as soon as they see their owners get out bath towels or run water. If you have a dog that hates baths, here are some guidelines for bathing dogs that are afraid of water....because usually they aren't afraid of the water, they're afraid of the experience.

Add Toys to Bathwater

Why not toss some of your dog’s favorite toys into the bathwater to make bathing more fun? This way, your dog can link bathing with playtime with you rather than something that has to be endured. It can also be helpful to include a few small treats during the bathing process as this can give Fido a positive

Let Your Dog Get Used to the Tub

Don’t just throw a new puppy or dog into a tub of water for the first time and expect your pet to adjust automatically.

  • Before filling your tub, let your dog examine it. Consider that a bathtub can seem less threatening when a dog has the opportunity to sniff and explore it when it’s empty.
  • Once you do start running water, do so gradually, only adding a small amount at first and not spraying your pet. As your puppy or dog gets used to the water, you can add more water.
  • Likewise, if you’re bathing your dog in a shower, allow your furbaby to inspect the floor of the shower before spraying water on it.

Outdoor Bathing

Tub bathing generally works well for most small dogs, but it can be hard to lift larger breeds into a tub. Even worse, lifting a large dog can injure your back. Therefore, if your dog weighs 55 pounds or more, you probably won’t be giving it tub baths. Besides indoor showers, you could wash your dog outdoors by using a hose, weather permitting.

  • Keep your dog on a leash during the bathing process. This is especially critical for outdoor bathing so that a dog cannot escape.
  • Select a spot in your yard that won’t easily become muddy.
  • You could even give your dog a bath on a deck.
  • Is your dog afraid of a hose? Consider using use a kiddie pool, which is inflatable and inexpensive.

Considerations and Warnings

  • If your dog has a skin problem, it could be caused from using the wrong shampoo, so your vet may need to prescribe a particular medicated brand.
  • Be sure that the water is at a comfortable temperature that is neither too cold nor too warm. Contrary to what you may have been told, using very warm water can shock a dog. The best temperature is lukewarm water.
  • Because tubs are usually slick, use a tub mat to prevent slipping.
  • Does your dog shiver at the sight of water gushing out of a hose? Even in summer, it may be best to give a tub bath or use a shower.
  • Don’t give your dog a bath when it's stressed, which can be from anything from thunder to visiting the vet.
  • What if you dog bites? If so, you’ll need to use a mouth guard. Ask your vet how to safely insert it.
  • There’s no set rule on how often to bathe a dog, but most vets recommend giving a dog a bath at least once a month. Don't bathe your pet more than once a week, unless your vet has told you to do.
  • If you do bathe your dog more than once monthly, always use a moisturizing or soap-free shampoo so that you don’t dry out the skin.
  • Thoroughly rinse all the soap from your dog’s fur and skin by flushing it out with fresh water. Besides having less flaking, this can also help in keeping your pet clean longer.

Still feeling overwhelmed? Let the professional pet groomers at Awesome Doggies do the job. You don’t even have to leave your home as we provide high quality mobile pet grooming. Please contact us and learn more about our wide range of pet grooming services.

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